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Report No. 81

2.6. Position as to maintenance.-

This section deals with (a) maintenance, (b) intestate succession, and (c) testamentary succession. As to maintenance, the widow on re-marriage loses all rights and interests she may have in her deceased husband's property by way of maintenance. The forfeiture of the widow's right to be maintained out of the estate of her first husband follows also from sections 19 and 22 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, which, in chapter 3, contains the law of maintenance applicable to Hindus1. Under section 19, a widow can claim maintenance from her father-in-law, but this obligation of the father-in-law ceases if the widow reĀ¬marries. Section 21 of that Act includes, in the definition of the word "dependants", a widow so long as she does not re-marry.

Section 22 of that Act lays down rules relating to the right of dependants to be maintained, by the heirs of a deceased Hindu and others, who have inherited the estate of such deceased person. That Act also contains a provision, namely, section 4, giving overriding application to the provisions of the Act. The effect of section 4 is that it renders ineffective all existing laws in respect of any of the matters dealt with in the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. That being so, section 2 of the Act of 1856, in so far as it deals with the forfeiture of the rights and interests which a widow may have in her deceased husband's property by way of maintenance, must give way to sections 19, 21 and 22 of the Maintenance Act, 1956. It now serves no useful purpose.

1. Sections 4, 19, 21 and 22, Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856 Back

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